Monday, April 15, 2013

We found out the hard way – we need to add some items to our first aid kit!

One standard item most geocachers carry with them while out and about is a first aid kit.  Our kit contains the standard bandages, ointments, poison ivy pens, wipes, etc.  We found out the hard way this last weekend, we need a better stocked kit!  Compounding the need for a better kit was the fact we were at least an hour away from the nearest Emergency Room!!!

I was standing behind the large tree in amongst the vines and briars in Hyde County North Carolina.  My intent was to pick up the nice big ammo can we had just located and pass it to another member of our caching team so it could be opened, inventoried, signed and returned to me to re-hide.  What happened, quite by mistake, put a big hole in our caching day!  As I lifted the can, preparing to pass it out, the can popped open on one side.  This resulted in the bottom of the can swinging open, pinching the palm of my right hand at the pivot point.  OUCH!

I, of course, dropped the can and noticed the missing chuck of meat from my palm.  After passing the can to my team, I extricated myself from the vines and thorns and then proceeded to clean my wound, apply a sorta-clean bandage and apply direct pressure to stop the bleeding.  We shortly realized we needed more gauze and bandages than we had available.  My intent, at the time, was to get the bleeding to stop and then bandage the wound good enough to continue caching till we got back home and then and only then access the need for further assistance. 

We finished with that cache and then decided to keep on caching.

Several caches later I slowly came to the realization that the bleeding, although it had slowed, was not going to stop.  A quick check of the SNAP-mobile’s Nuvi showed the closest medical facilities to be at least 40 miles away, or, in caching terms, at least 3 or 4 more caches down the road.

We continued westward towards Belhaven, North Carolina, grabbing a few caches along the way.

Belhaven is a cute little coastal town in Beaufort county North Carolina.  Their claim to fame, at least as far as I was concerned on Saturday, was the fact that the town not only contained 5 caches but also contained a very nice Emergency room.  45 minutes after checking in I was released.  My hand was now wrapped, the bleeding had stopped, and as I found my caching team mates waiting for me, I had only one question for them.  “Where’s the next cache!”

Nana & I have decided to restock our first aid kit so it will be of a little more use.  Hopefully it will be a long time before we have to use it again!

Special thanks to the Belhaven Hospital and the doctors, nurses and staff of the Emergency Room .  They were all extremely nice and helpful, pleasant to deal with and I am extremely thankful that they were on duty Saturday!

As always, Stay Safe & Keep Caching!

SNAP!!! – Suffolk Nana & Papa


  1. Sorry to hear about your hand. Been meaning to actually get a First Aid kit together for our bag. Now I know its the hidden dangers like this is the reason I need to stop meaning to and do it.

  2. You may want to check out "QuikClot", it's a blood clotting agent, a powder you sprinkle on the wound to get the bleeding to stop. That, along with some larger gauze pads and some adhesive tape, would probably have let you continue with your original plan.... (Of course, you want to be sure you've cleaned the wound thoroughly.)